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Credit unions in certain parts of the country have begun to join banks in offering jumbo mortgages. However, executives at those institutions said jumbo loans must be accompanied by additional underwriting measures.

Jumbo loans refer to those valued higher than the amount of their balance limit when put up for sale on the secondary market through Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. In the majority of the country, loans are considered jumbo when they carry balances higher than $417,000, but the Federal Housing Finance Administration has set higher limits in counties with higher home prices. In some counties, jumbo loans are those above $729,750 – the highest cap set by FHFA.

Jumbo loans drew attention in the wake of the Great Recession when critics blamed them, in part, for helping to inflate the housing bubble that burst and launched the economic downturn – and during that time, they largely disappeared from the market.

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